Former CTV reporter sues broadcaster, woman who accused him of sexual misconduct

The CTV logo outside their studios in Halifax on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010. A former CTV News reporter facing sexual misconduct allegations is suing the broadcaster, its parent company and the woman who levelled accusations against him.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

TORONTO - A former CTV News reporter facing sexual misconduct allegations is suing the broadcaster, its parent company and the woman who levelled the accusations against him.

Paul Bliss, whose departure from CTV was announced last month, claims Bridget Brown defamed him with her allegations and CTV further defamed him by broadcasting and publishing stories about his suspension from the network in January.

Bliss' suit, which also targets four unidentified CTV journalists, seeks $7.5 million in damages.

"The defamatory words have created damaging speculation respecting Mr. Bliss and his ability to interact and work with people and has lowered his reputation in the general public," his statement of claim said.

CTV refused to comment on the lawsuit, which was filed in a Toronto court this week.

Brown, who describes herself as a Calgary-based entrepreneur and former CTV employee, said her legal team was reviewing Bliss' suit.

"I find virtually everything in the statement of claim to be false," she said. "We have some time for our response and have not compiled one yet, nor any potential statements of claim of our own that we may decide to file."

Brown alleged in a January blog post that "an award-winning CTV reporter and anchor" had, in 2006, showed her to his office, began kissing her, pushed her head down to signal that he wanted oral sex, and exposed himself to her.

Brown's original blog post did not name Bliss, but left "no doubt" that he was the man being described, Bliss said in his statement of claim. Brown also later told CTV that Bliss was the man her post referred to, the claim said.

Bliss denied Brown's accusations in his statement of claim and said the pair engaged in a consensual encounter.

CTV suspended Bliss, a veteran reporter who worked at its bureau at the Ontario legislature, shortly after Brown's allegations came to light.

Bliss claimed in his suit that the network broadcast and published "false, malicious, irresponsible" stories about his suspension and subsequent departure from the network — which the suit described as a termination.

The statement of claim further says CTV's coverage should have noted that Brown's blog says the details of her online post were adapted from a memoir she is writing, which will be published in 2019.

"Brown had an ulterior motive (in making the allegations), being the publication of her intended book," Bliss said in the claim.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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